Archive for Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bipartisanship

There is an “unprecedented” divide in Washington and Barack Obama occupies the office that can alter it.

April 3, 2010

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Jimmy Carter doubtless has many regrets about his one-term presidency even though his record as a private citizen since then has polished his legacy. His performance was not as bad as many critics contend and it was nowhere near as good as his closest associates believe.

But one thing the former Georgia governor tried to accomplish was to establish an atmosphere of nonpartisanship, with a goal of people in public office exercising statesmanship rather than political division. Former presidents such as Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were able to get people in Congress to “reach across the aisle” to the benefit of the country. Carter touched recently on the need for such productivity to be restored.

One of the masters of getting people of varying political beliefs to work together was U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, the accomplished Kansas Republican. He, too, must be frustrated by the current situation.

Carter calls the divide between Republicans and Democrats in Washington “unprecedented.” He is now calling for President Obama to meet with leaders to make sure the gap does not widen further. Carter mentioned “Republican leaders,” but Democrats share just as much blame for the constant stalemates in Congress.

Sen. Dole was far ahead of Carter on this issue while practicing what he preached about bipartisanship in government. He said a number of times that too few U.S. presidents have used the clout of their office to deal head-on with problems such as the current deadlock.

Dole said whoever is president should, on important occasions, call in the leaders of both parties, elected and appointed, and “lay down the law” about getting things done, as Lyndon Johnson often did. Obama should not be bashful about holding members of his own party as well as Republicans accountable for breaking the partisan logjams.

The knee-jerk reactions of members of Congress are ludicrous and disgusting. A member of one party has hardly uttered his comments before somebody on the other side of the aisle is up and running at the mouth about why that is wrong. How often do we hear constructive suggestions about what to do about a given issue?

There are countless matters that require bipartisanship, right now. If the leaders of the Democrats and the GOP don’t have the courage to break the costly mold of stubbornness, the president should take off his kid gloves and crack down. However, based on his actions, statements and failure to follow through on his campaign pledges of transparency and bipartisanship, one has to wonder whether Obama is not contributing to the current dangerous situation.

Continued travel down the partisan road we now are traveling can lead to even more of a damaging breakdown of our government.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

The great divide was well established under Reagan/Bush/Gingrich and has not changed since. Repubs went after the Clinton sex life to further the divide and spent $53 million in the process. So where exactly are the saints?

Nixon = Watergate = high crime

Yes Reagan was there for the Iran Contra illegal sale of weapons and the massive savings and loan crime that put tons of people out of work and tons of retirement went up in smoke or by way of fraud. More high crimes ...believe it!

  1. The muliti trillion war for oil control that is devastating the economy Bush/Cheney

  2. The Bush/Cheney irresponsible financial disaster that put 11 million people out of work.

  3. 11 million people out of work needs new industry to re-establish that lost wealth of spending = Bush/Cheney

  4. The special interest financing of our elections screws americans out of work and supports economies abroad = trillions is lost dollars to the USA economy

  5. Think about it. In the past 30 years the repub party has been in involved two major home loan scandals that effectively took the USA economy down the tubes. One is too damn many but twice represents repub economic policy. Wreckanomics is a failed economic policy. In fact wreckanomics is beginning to smell like well planned crimes.

The republican party have become masters at putting millions upon millions upon millions of people out of work. AND stealing taxpayers retirement plans along the way.

What Repubs do with a remarkable degree of consistency is wreck the economy,initiate huge movements of shipping jobs abroad aka the Reagan-Bush Global Economy and try to wreck social security and medicare.

Is there a definite pattern? Absolutely!

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

Now where exactly are the saints?

Daniel Kennamore 5 years ago

Blaming Obama for the lack of bipartisanship is like blaming a rape victim for being raped.

independant1 5 years ago

Democrats take the whole thing as a joke. Republicans take it serious but run it like a joke. (Will Rogers)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"There's far too much bipartisanship in DC in my opinion. I wish we had four or five parties representing narrower political ideologies with no one holding a majority.z'

On that, we can agree, Liberty. It's time for a major restructuring of our government, scrapping the bicameral, winner-take-all system, and replacing it with a parliamentary system with proportional representation in which parties getting at least 5% of the vote would get seats. (This is what Germany has, according to a system devised by the top American political scientists in the aftermath of WWII.)

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

merrill, will you give yourself a prize after you've posted that same set of links 10,000 times? You've got to be getting close.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Let's not throw out the Constitution because Axelrod's puppet is making a total hash of things.

Darrell Lea 5 years ago

"Blaming Obama for the lack of bipartisanship is like blaming a rape victim for being raped."

Welcome to Kansas. T'was ever thus.

yourworstnightmare 5 years ago

I guess I have more confidence in our system of government as described in the Constitution than do many of the radicals posting here (merril, shewmon, libertyone, bozo).

Our government was designed to be a gridlock machine. The mistake the GOP is making is that with their angry, populist, nasty, constant opposition rhetoric, they are effectively taking themselves out of any opportunity for leadership and contribution. They are effectively nullifying themselves, as evidence by not a single GOP vote for health care, yet it passed anyway.

WilburM 5 years ago

Those who attended the Dole Institute's Symposium on the US Senate last week were treated to an insightful presentation by elections scholar Alan Abramowitz, who convincingly demonstrated that partisanship largely derives from the electorate, and that those in DC are following the desires of partisans in the electorate. Other top scholars on the Senate also argued unanimously that Bob Dole cold not lead today's Senate as he did in the 80's/90's, nor could LBJ exercise his kind of smothering leadership from the 1950s and '60s(as president). The NYTimes today reports that Obama has virtually NO support among Republicans, even though the Congress just passed health care legislation that is strikingly similar to what the GOP proposed in 1993. In short -- DC pols and the electorate have both grown more partisan, for better or worse. And we shouldn't image that some heroic leader (Dole or whoever) can magically return us to some imagined bipartisan utopia. Indeed, for all of Dole's deal making expertise, he was a highly partisan pol throughout his career. which is fine, especially given his willingness to work across the aisle when the opportunity arose.

staff04 5 years ago

You can lead a horse to water.

beatrice 5 years ago

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year." -- Senator John McCain.

Now, how is this Obama's fault, and what cooperation were you offering in the first part of the year? It is impossible to have bipartisanship when one side simply refuses to take part.

By the way LJWorld, where were the opinion columnist's cries for bipartisanship when the Republicans were in charge?

ENGWOOD 5 years ago

No bama, Biden, Dodd, Murtha, Barney Frank , Edwards, Anthony (Oscar Mayer) Weiner, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer Den of Thieves and Liars

Come on Merr ILL

notajayhawk 5 years ago

beatrice (anonymous) says…

"Now, how is this Obama's fault, and what cooperation were you offering in the first part of the year? It is impossible to have bipartisanship when one side simply refuses to take part."

And what happened to the Republican proposals Obama promised to include in the final healthcare "reform" legislation after they participated in his little dog-and-pony show, bea? Oh, that's right - not a single one was included in the bills he signed.

Oh, almost forgot - you wanted to know what the polls were going to say about his job approval after the legislation passed. Now that every poll included in the RCP average was conducted after the legislation passed the House, his approval is still below 50% with a minuscule 1.4% margin:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

And every poll taken after the bill's passage still has a majority against the Democrat's "reform" legislation, with even CBS's poll showing 53-32 against:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

Your welcome.

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